Number of the Day

[Content Note: Guns; violence.]

643: The number of people in the US who have been killed by guns since the Newtown shooting.

In related news:

Whooooooooops! Oh well, I'm sure it doesn't matter when the nation's (and world's) largest retailer of guns skips the gun reform meeting. We're still all definitely taking this epidemic of gun violence very seriously, I'm sure!

Speaking of taking things seriously, has everyone seen the video of gun advocate and professional shouter Alex Jones on Piers Morgan's show? Because it was pretty zany!

Part One:

Part Two:

Full transcript available here.

I have read a lot of people saying a lot of things (usually riddled with ablism) about how this exchange exemplifies the gun rights debate, such as it is, in the US. I don't agree with that assessment. It's my estimation that this exchange typifies the stereotype of the gun rights debate in the US, in that gun reformers are perceived to be a bunch of snotty elitist smug-monsters, and gun owners are perceived to be a bunch of red-faced hollering bullies.

What I'm saying is: Piers Morgan is terrible. Alex Jones is terrible. This whole thing is terrible.

I believe it is possible to have a reasonable conversation about gun reform in this country, and I further believe that the people who most benefit from the idea that it is not possible are professional gun advocates, who are perfectly content to be regarded as so wildly unreasonable that we might as well not even bother trying to be negotiate with them.

Then they never have to make the choice to be reasonable or not.

Alex Jones is not an avatar for gun owners in the United States. He's a caricature. And I believe there are gun owners, probably even lots of them who were rooting him on, who would be reasonable if only they were asked.

I believe it is possible to have a thoughtful and serious debate about gun reform. And if it really isn't, well, fuck. I expect more than this.

[H/T to Jess for the Slate link.]

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